Over the weekend Tim Melia and Zack Steffen made headlines by saving penalty kicks to help their respective teams, Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew SC, bag big victories – and for both goalkeepers, it was only the latest in a string of clutch PK saves in their careers.
Which got us thinking: Who are the best ‘keepers in MLS history when it comes to stopping opponents’ spot kicks? We stacked them up using their career percentage of penalty goals allowed; thus the lower the percentage of PKs against them converted, the better they fare.
This list of the top 10 in league history might just surprise you. While Melia, Steffen and Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando are known for their exceptional abilities in this category, none of them rank tops. And the one who does, Matt Jordan, is better known these days for his work in the Houston Dynamo front office than he is for his goalkeeping exploits back in the day with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) and Crew.
Note: These numbers are only for regular-season play and don’t indicate how many they saved, just the percentage that they allowed, so misses and saves are reflected equally. Only goalkeepers who faced at least 10 penalties in their career were considered.